West Seattle, Washington
ORIGINAL REPORT, 8:23 PM: Heads up if you’ll be traveling Delridge Way near Edmunds any time soon – utility crews are working in the middle of the street. We noticed running water on the edge of the northbound side of the street, and we just received one reader note saying they had called Seattle Public Utilities and been told there’s a water-line break. They also report reduced water pressure at their residence. We’ll be checking with SPU’s media team ASAP to see if we can find out more.
9:44 PM: We haven’t heard back from SPU yet but multiple commenters in the area say they’re without water.
10:33 PM: Now we’ve heard from SPU, which says an 8-inch line broke, no obvious cause. It was first reported by someone who saw the water bubbling up in the street late this afternoon; they cut off service in the area around 7:30 pm for repairs. 110 customers (homes/businesses) are affected, and they’re hoping to restore service by midnight.
11:03 PM: Marieke from SPU just called again with an update – she says they’re turning the water back on right now. It was a “horizontal break” and 10 feet of pipe had to be repaired. Your water might be discolored for a while when it comes back on, so let it run a bit, she says, and it should clear up.
Police investigated a report of gunfire at 15th and Roxbury after 5 pm tonight; we found out about it after a texter (thank you) reported multiple police cars heading south. Police say witnesses told them that two men exchanged words and “gang signs”; one fired a shot at a car, possibly an Acura, that subsequently took off. No injuries reported, and no arrests so far.
Thanks to Patrick Kelly for the tip – the National Weather Service has upgraded the weather alert to a “heat advisory” for most of the weekend, noon Saturday through 9 pm Sunday. (See the alert here.) Temperatures in the 90s are possible both days. Our most-recent lists of air-conditioned spots are a few years old now, so if you have new favorites, suggestions appreciated!
P.S. A reader requests that we remind you to NOT leave your pet in the car, especially during the extra-warm weather!
2:25 PM: Retiring last year as PE teacher at Pathfinder K-8 didn’t keep Lou Cutler from coming back for his traditional birthday-month run to raise money for Make-A-Wish. One lap for every year, which meant 65 today – and this time, battling asthma, he walked more than he ran, but nonetheless made it through every one of those laps over the span of five hours, from just after 9 am to just after 2 pm. Above is our iPhone video as his final lap wrapped up, in the company of Pathfinder students who streamed out of the building to finish it with him, chanting “Go, Lou! Go, Lou!” Many were with him at the start:
We’ll be adding photos a bit later. You can still donate to Make-A-Wish, for whom Lou’s been a wish-granting volunteer for more than 20 years – just go here.
ADDED 9:53 PM: Two photos that, like our video above, bookend this year’s inspiring-as-ever event. First, from the morning:
And then, right after that 65th lap, the group photo:
Today was the 17th time Lou’s done this, by the way.
Three West Seattle restaurant notes:
IRASHAI NOW OPEN: While covering the “Group Hug for The Admiral” this morning, we noticed the banner across the street at Irashai, the Japanese restaurant that took over the former Mawadda Café space. When it opened at 11 am, we ducked in to ask a few questions. This is the second day of the restaurant’s “soft open,” we learned; its operators have another restaurant by the same name in Alaska. The hours might change depending on how things are going, but for now they are posted as 11 am-9 pm Mondays-Thursdays, 11 am-10 pm Fridays and Saturdays, noon-9 pm Sundays.
PECOS PIT OPENING DATE: Pecos Pit BBQ at 35th and Fauntleroy has announced it will open on June 21st. It’s totally remodeled and expanded the former Beni Hoshi/Yasuko’s Teriyaki space. According to an announcement sent to the Junction Neighborhood Organization, a ribboncutting is planned at 3 pm on June 21st, and the restaurant will welcome its first customers at 4 pm.
SHELBY’S OPENING DATE: It’s been two months since we reported on Shelby’s Bistro and Ice Creamery, taking over the former Westside Public House space on the northeast corner of California and Edmunds in The Junction. This establishment has also announced an opening date: July 19th.
(Photo by Jean Sherrard, courtesy Southwest Seattle Historical Society; click here to see full-size version on SWSHS website)
10:58 AM: After a burst of excitement this morning, with a crowd including about 800 elementary-school students and former mayors Greg Nickels and Norm Rice, The Admiral District is getting back to the usual dull roar. The “Group Hug for The Admiral” photo event, organized by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, went off flawlessly, with photographers Jean Sherrard and Brad Chrisman atop a lift truck across the street from the historic theater, hailed as a classic “neighborhood moviehouse.” (Updated) Here’s what the crowd looked like on the ground:
The speakers included theater operator Far Away Entertainment, Sol Baron told WSB that the renovations to convert it into a fourplex – the reason to capture this moment in time – are expected to start by mid-August, provided the final permits come through. (added) You’ll hear him in this clip, introduced by Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals, who emceed and organized the event:
12:37 PM: More of how it unfolded: Plenty of orange-vested adults (the vests were loaned by Highland Park Elementary) were there to help ensure the safety of the students, who walked from each participating school – we rolled a bit of video as each arrived:
First, the most distant school, Schmitz Park:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) June 3, 2016
And here come the Alki Elementary students. Former mayors Rice and Nickels are here to greet them. pic.twitter.com/xE7aq7f0m1
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) June 3, 2016
Finally, the nearest school – about half a block south – Lafayette:
Third and final school to arrive, nearby Lafayette Elementary, crossing at California/Admiral pic.twitter.com/K4XOTJD31w
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) June 3, 2016
Along with those we’ve mentioned earlier, speakers also included the principals of all three participating schools – Shannon Hobbs-Beckley from Alki, Gerrit Kischner from Schmitz Park, and Robert Gallagher from Lafayette – as well as Jim Kelly from 4Culture (which donated $95,000 to the Admiral renovation project) and Shannon Braddock from County Councilmember Joe McDermott’s office:
The principals voiced appreciation for their students’ chance to be part of a moment in local history:
The theater, its operators stressed, will remain open throughout the renovation work later this year. We’ll find out more about the specifics as the plan goes to the city Landmark Preservation Board – whose approval is required because of the theater’s landmark status – later this month.
Mayor Nickels, as introduced by Eals, represented this area on the King County Council when The Admiral closed – in danger of never reopening – in 1989. The Admiral enhances our area’s “sense of community,” he pointed out, also lauding Eals for organizing the campaign to save the theater, which reopened in 1992. Mayor Rice was in office at the time of the reopening and said The Admiral continues to “symbolize West Seattle … and the people who care so much about it.”
P.S. From-above SWSHS photo added 10:30 am Saturday!
Family and friends will gather next Monday to remember John W. Sisson. Here’s the notice they’re sharing with the community:
John W. Sisson, beloved husband and father, passed away at home in his sleep May 25th.
He was born in Minnesota in 1932. He was the son of Frank and Ruth Sisson. He spent a 35-year career in public service as an auditor for the General Accounting Office. He loved horses, boats, camping, reading, dogs, sports cars, WWII aircraft, and especially his family. He would always make time for his family.
His funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 am on Monday, June 6th, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 7000 35th Avenue SW in West Seattle.
In lieu of flowers please consider a gift to either the Union Gospel Mission or the Seattle Humane Society.
Please visit his memorial web page here.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Today’s themes – schools and history. Here are the highlights from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
LAPS WITH LOU: As previewed here last week, retired Pathfinder K-8 PE teacher Lou Cutler is returning to the school on Pigeon Point for his annual Make-A-Wish-benefiting run/walk around the field, a birthday celebration with one lap for every year – 65 this time! 8:45 am was the scheduled start time, so he should be on the field now – as we publish this, we’re headed for the school to check in. All welcome to come share a lap or two or more, and/or to donate here. (1901 SW Genesee)
GROUP HUG FOR THE ADMIRAL: The Southwest Seattle Historical Society is gathering students from three local elementaries, plus two former mayors, for a “group hug” photo op to celebrate its soon-to-start renovation, almost a quarter-century after local residents rallied to save the landmark movie theater. It’ll be unfolding between 9:30 and 10:30 am. (2343 California SW)
WORDS, WRITERS, WEST SEATTLE: 5-7 pm at Barnes & Noble/Westwood Village, Lisa Richesson talks about her book, “White Lady, Black Sons.” Here’s her video invitation:
This ongoing series is presented by the SW Seattle Historical Society. (2800 SW Barton)
CORNER BAR: Tonight’s the monthly pop-up bar, with tunes, at Highland Park Improvement Club, starting at 6 pm – full details here. (12th/Holden)
SCHMITZ PARK ELEMENTARY CELEBRATION: Before the school community at Schmitz Park Elementary concludes its final year before moving to the new Genesee Hill Elementary in the fall, its history and legacy will be celebrated tonight, 6:30 pm – details in our calendar listing. (5000 SW Spokane)
WSMA AT C & P: Performers/composers from West Side Music Academy perform tonight at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7 pm. (5612 California SW)
THE SKYLARK TURNS TEN: 9 pm anniversary show – details in our listing. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
MORE … on our complete calendar!
(Click any view for a close-up; more cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
7 AM: After many uneventful mornings, this one is getting busy. There’s a crash on northbound 99 at Lander, blocking the left lane.
Also, Metro has just sent word that two trips are canceled this morning – Route 57 leaving The Junction at 7:06 am, and Route 56 leaving Alki at 7:23 am.
7:13 AM: Just for the record, Matt points out that Metro also tweeted the 6:40 am Route 116 run was canceled too. And we have other reminders:
*No bridge closure tonight – the Fauntleroy Expressway work was on its regular Sunday-Thursday night schedule this week, so the next one is Sunday night (9 pm-5 am)
*Reminder that the “Group Hug for The Admiral Theater” will bring about 800 students to The Admiral District later this morning for a photo outside the soon-to-be-renovated landmark – here’s our preview from last night. No road closures but they’re walking, so be ready for some big pedestrian groups.
7:25 AM: SDOT says the vehicles involved in the NB 99 crash have moved to the shoulder, so “all lanes are clear.”
7:37 AM: Back to previews – here’s the SDOT lookahead for this weekend, including a big soccer game at CLink on Saturday night, and Race for the Cure through part of downtown on Sunday.
Story, video, and photos by Tracy Record and Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers
The last speaker at Thursday’s West Seattle YMCA expansion groundbreaking celebration, member Michelle Silver, used that term for her enthusiastic view of the Y, whose director Josh Sutton picked it up and ran with it.
It was perfect for the energy and enthusiasm that marked the event outside the Triangle headquarters of the Y (a longtime WSB sponsor).
Though members of the Y board posed for the top photo, this wasn’t really a groundbreaking about, well, breaking ground – the shovels were mostly for fun:
Major work on the Y’s long-in-the-works expansion had started last week with demolition of the old Youth Programs building. The event was more a chance to honor those who made the project possible, and to celebrate a side benefit, the new “festival street” designation for SW Snoqualmie in front of the Y, recently finalized and used for the first time for this party, which included a bouncy house, free barbecue, and even the West Seattle High School Band:
And it was a chance to recap what the expansion will bring – Sutton hit the highlights: “When this project is done, we’ll have a whole new Y from the outside and new tools to help the community.” They include a meeting room, kitchen, expanded fitness space, new family room with “active play for all ages,” a new cycling room. (More details here.)
With its perch in the West Seattle Triangle, part of the “urban village” at the heart of the peninsula, and within walking distance of thousands of new apartments, the Y also has to have its eye on the future. That was noted by Mark Tabbutt, who spoke after Sutton’s introduction, a West Seattleite representing the Greater Seattle Y’s board.
“There’s a ton of new people coming in – this organization, this Y, is going to be a big part of drawing those people in.”
Without money to pay for the expansion, it wouldn’t be happening, and about $800,000 came from the state, so the program included an area legislator, 34th District State Senator Sharon Nelson.
“Why should the state support this?” she asked rhetorically. “Because it’s about youth and families.”
From the WS Y board, Scott Hitchcock hailed the “hard work” by so many, over the decade it took for this to become reality:
Those gathered in the new “festival street” also heard from Dino Vasquez and Steve Sundquist, co-chairs of the capital campaign. Sundquist, a former Seattle School Board member, voiced appreciation for the Y’s work at local schools.
A donor whose family made the first gift to the campaign, Sue Chamberlain, recalled her membership dating back 30 years, when she said she walked into the Y with her then-1-year-old son. The Y goes back almost a century here, she said, so those enabling its expansion are “continuing a great legacy.”
Gratitude was threaded through all the speeches, not just for those who gave money, but for those who gave time.
But the show was stolen by final speaker Michelle Silver, from the moment Sutton introduced her while making note that Silver was wearing a Cleveland Cavaliers T-shirt and obviously had to get home in time for the game. First, here’s some of what she described, memorably, as Y-Tastic:
The speeches wrapped up, and the party continued for guests of all ages.
Here’s what happens next, according to a timeline Sutton shared: The main building stays open throughout the project, Later this month, the entrance will move to the festival-street side. More changes will be ahead in August, when the first Y-hosted West Seattle Outdoor Movies screening will happen (last one of this year’s season, before the entire series moves next year). Then a new entrance is expected in October, and more of the new building will be open around Thanksgiving, with the project largely wrapped up by year’s end, meaning that 2017, in Sutton’s words, will bring a “new Y for a new year.”